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Seven films and TV series from pre-2000 you may not know were shot in Suffolk locations including Lavenham, Long Melford and Ipswich



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Suffolk is full of beautiful countryside, quaint villages and interesting old architecture, so it is hardly surprising that the county is popular with the big screen.

In recent years, Bury St Edmunds Angel Hill has served as the backdrop for Armando Iannucci's The Personal History of David Copperfield featuring Dev Patel, while De Vere House in the picturesque village of Lavenham was used in the Harry Potter franchise.

But it isn't just recent cinema that has adopted Suffolk settings for filming locations. Here are seven films and TV series you may remember from pre-2000 that feature our home county as a location.

David Copperfield film shooting on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mecha Morton
David Copperfield film shooting on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mecha Morton

1. Witchfinder General (1968)

This historical horror film directed by Michael Reeves and starring Vincent Price and Ian Ogilvy is about as Suffolk as they come, with five of the seven filming locations found in Suffolk.

Based on Ronald Bassett's novel of the same name, the film details the East Anglian witch-hunting exploits of Matthew Hopkins.

Lavenham is home to many grade II listed buildings
Lavenham is home to many grade II listed buildings

Scenes of the witch burning took place in Market Square, Lavenham, while the trial was filmed in Kentwell Hall, Long Melford.

Final scenes were filmed at Orford Castle while others were shot in Bury St Edmunds and Brandeston.

The film won quite a cult following after the death of Reeves at the age of just 25, and has previously been named among the greatest horror films of all time.

2. Lovejoy (1986-1994)

Many scenes in Lovejoy were filmed in Long Melford. Picture: Google maps
Many scenes in Lovejoy were filmed in Long Melford. Picture: Google maps

Comedy-drama mystery series Lovejoy featured a rogue antiques dealer, played by Ian McShane and was filmed in Long Melford and the surrounding villages.

The series had 71 episodes and within series between January 1986 and December 1994 and developed a huge following, even being broadcast in the United States on the A&E Network.

Filming locations included Long Melford, Felsham, Kersey, Lavenham, Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds, Bildeston and Hadleigh, as well as others in Essex and Norfolk.

The area became known as “Lovejoy country", bringing hundreds of tourists to these locations for a taste of East Anglian life.

3. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

RAF Lakenheath doubled up as the US airbase at ‘Okinawa, in the South China Sea' in James Bond classic Tomorrow Never Dies.

RAF Lakenheath doubled up as a US airbase in the Bond film.
RAF Lakenheath doubled up as a US airbase in the Bond film.

The nineteenth Bond film and second to star Pierce Brosnan, just a couple of minutes of the film are shot at the airbase which is located near Brandon and Mildenhall.

In one scene, Brosnan can be seen walking alongside the Lakenheath runway with military helicopters behind him.

4. The Fourth Protocol (1987)

Another classic staring Brosnan alongside Michael Caine, The Fourth Protocol is a British Cold War spy film which features shots of Ipswich.

The film contains a car chase scene set in Ipswich, but was actually shot in Chelmsford on the A1016 Chelmer Valley bypass and Colchester Station was also used in one scene.

The Orwell Bridge featured in The Fourth Protocol
The Orwell Bridge featured in The Fourth Protocol

In one scene, a squadron of SAS helicopters can be seen flying between the legs of the Orwell Bridge.

5. Dad's Army (1968-1977)

Dad's Army is a British television sitcom about the Home Guard during World War II.

Over eighty episodes were broadcast between the years of 1968 and 1977 and, although set in fictional coastal town Walmington-on-Sea, many of the scenes were filmed in Thetford and the surrounding areas. Brandon train station was also used during filming.

Dad's Army Museum, Thetford. Picture: Google maps
Dad's Army Museum, Thetford. Picture: Google maps

The Dad's Army Museum in Cage Lane in the town is dedicated to the series and is popular with residents and tourists. The town is also home to a statue of Captain Mainwaring, the Home Guard captain.

6. Barry Lyndon (1975)

Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, a period drama released in 1975, was shot all over England, Ireland and Germany including at a location in Suffolk.

Lavenham Guildhall doubled up as the 18th century inn where Lyndon, played by Ryan O'Neal, stays to recover following a duel.

Lavenham Guildhall featured in Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. Picture: Google maps
Lavenham Guildhall featured in Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. Picture: Google maps

Both the interior and exterior can be seen in the film, which received mixed reviews from critics.

7. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

This psychological drama produced by Stanley Kubrick and starring Tom Cruise, Nicola Kidman and Sydney Pollack was filmed in Elveden Hall.

Elveden Hall. Picture: Andy Abbott
Elveden Hall. Picture: Andy Abbott

The private house off the A11 about four miles west of Thetford has stunning Indian-style interiors and also featured in the likes of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Stardust.

Did you know all of these films and series were partly filmed in Suffolk?